Chinese giant panda couple arrives in Spain

MADRID, April 30 (Xinhua) -- A giant panda couple has arrived in Spain on a direct flight from China. They were set to be kept at zoo in the Spanish capital city of Madrid for the next few years, the zoo announced on Tuesday.

On an exclusive flight from the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, the couple, named Jin Xi and Zhu Yu, landed on Monday at the cargo terminal of the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport, the Madrid Zoo Aquarium said.

Upon their arrival, the zoo's veterinary and conservation team, as well as several patrols from Spain's Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) were waiting to escort them to the zoo.

To ensure the health and safety of the giant pandas during the flight, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding prepared bespoke transport cages loaded with fresh bamboo and bamboo shoots.

A special dinner was waiting for the new couple at the zoo made of freshly cut bamboo shoots. Carers paid special attention to pandas when welcoming them to their new home.

The public will have to wait before meeting the new arrivals, as there is now a month ahead to certify their good health, the zoo added.

China and Spain signed an agreement in 2007 to improve giant panda protection and promote cooperation in endangered species and biodiversity.

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